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Animal Rabies: Implications for Diagnosis and Human Treatment

Daniel B. Fishbein, MD; and George M. Baer, DVM, MPH
[+] Article and Author Information

Requests for Reprints: Daniel B. Fishbein, MD, Bldg. 15, Centers for Disease Control, Atlanta, GA 30333.


Centers for Disease Control
Atlanta, Georgia


Ann Intern Med. 1988;109(12):935-937. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-109-12-935
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As a result of urban vaccination of dogs in the 1940s, endemic dog rabies in the United States was eliminated, and the number of rabid wild animals now far exceed the number of rabid dogs. Today thousands of rabid skunks and raccoons (but fewer than 200 rabid dogs—a fraction of the number in the 1940s) are reported annually. With the decrease in the number of rabid dogs came a corresponding drop in human rabies, from dozens of cases to less than one per year.

The current U.S. rabies epizootic is really a series of outbreaks in various species—mostly skunks, raccoons, and

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